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Easy Canned Meat Recipes

With a supply of canned meat on hand, you can prepare a home-cooked meal in no time.

| September/October 1983

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    Try making an easy fried rice recipe with your home-canned meat.

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Here's the situation: Our freezer was stuffed to overflowing, not only with such staples as strawberries, corn, cider, and beans, but also with some family specialties, including freezer jam, pumpkin pie, carrot cake, and zucchini bread. And, since our eyes had been focused on filling every nook and cranny with produce from our bountiful garden, our vision became shortsighted. Therefore, we were ill-prepared when we received a windfall of two quarters of beef and 17 two-year-old chickens.

In fact, we nearly passed up this bonanza, but that savory protein was just too valuable to let go. So, as we gave thanks for the meat, we also pondered the pleasant predicament of finding ourselves with too much food for the freezer. Then the obvious solution occurred to us, and we got out the mason jars and canned the beef and chicken.

Of course, a shortage of freezer space isn't the only reason to can meat. As a child, it always intrigued me that our family could arrive home late after a Sunday outing, and Mom could still have homemade vegetable soup on the table in a flash. She'd simply open a can of beef, one of beef broth, and another of vegetables, empty their contents into one big pot, and within half an hour, we'd be eating the kind of fresh-smelling brew that usually has to be simmered all day long!

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have grown up in a house where canned meat was an important part of the family diet. Therefore, I’d like to present two of my mother's other recipes—both of which take only minutes to prepare—to help any novice meat canners get off to a good start.

Skillet Stew

To make this one-dish meal, cook your choice of meat in a frying pan until it begins to brown. Then put in the jellied broth and let it all simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add home-canned vegetables, half a bay leaf, salt and pepper, and continue to simmer the mixture until the ingredients are heated thoroughly. The bay leaf—which should be removed after cooking—gives a special tang to the dish, but you may want to use some of your other favorite seasonings as well. Naturally, the stew can be made with fresh vegetables, rather than canned. (We like it with cubes of potatoes, carrots, and a little onion.) This variation, however, requires that the mix be simmered until the vegetables are cooked, which increases the preparation time and may require adding a small amount of water.

I always sprinkle fresh parsley over the top of the stew to "dress up" the meal, and set the large iron skillet right in the middle of the table. With, say, a fruit salad and hot rolls, this is the kind of mouth-watering repast that you can't buy at a restaurant!

10/27/2014 8:45:01 PM

What is the "15 minuet boil test?" I just started canning in January of 2014, but I have not came across this term or method per-say could you elaborate... thanks in advance

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